Jordan opposition fares well, but critics unsatisfied
AMMAN, Jordan — The surprise victory of 37 Islamist and other government critics despite an election boycott injects a degree of dissent into Jordan's newly empowered parliament. The king has portrayed the assembly as a centerpiece of his reform package, but the opposition says it's not enough and vowed on Thursday to stage more street protests.
Initial results showed the Islamists — who are not linked to the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood — and other opposition figures winning more than 25 percent of the 150-seat parliament, in sharp contrast to the outgoing legislature, which was almost entirely composed of the king's supporters.
Loyalists of King Abdullah II, however, will remain in control of the new legislature, claiming a majority of the seats up for grabs in Wednesday's parliamentary election — touted as the start of a democratization process in which the monarch, a close U.S.-ally, gradually hand over some of his absolute powers to lawmakers. The new parliament will choose the prime minister and be responsible for running much of the country's day-to-day affairs, powers that previously resided with the king. Foreign policy and security matters — for now, at least — remain in the hands of Abdullah.
The 2011 Arab Spring uprisings in the region set off a wave of demonstrations in Jordan, prompting Abdullah to introduce the reforms to prevent the simmering dissent — which has included unprecedented calls for the king to step down — from erupting into a full blown revolt. But Abdullah has attempted to implement the reforms in a measured manner, trying to manage the pace of change.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.